UConn tops Alabama for berth in men's basketball national championship


The UConn Huskies earned a shot at back-to-back men’s basketball national championships on Saturday with an 86-72 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Huskies’ starting lineup was in double figures in scoring and the team shot an impressive 50% from the field to remind the nation why they were the defending champs. The Huskies had a four-point lead at half time but busted the game open in the second half, outscoring the Crimson Tide by 10 points.

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UConn center Donovan Clingan (32) dunks against Alabama during the first half of the NCAA college basketball game at the Final Four, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Stephon Castle led the Huskies with 21 points and five rebounds. UConn also got a big game from Donovan Clingan. He had 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks. 

Clingan made it a 10-point game with 5:10 left to go with a lay-up.

Alabama’s Mark Sears did almost everything he could to keep the Crimson Tide in the game. He had 24 points, five rebounds and three assists. Grant Nelson added 19 points and 15 rebounds.

But Dan Hurley’s team was just too much.

Nick Pringle dives for the ball

Alabama forward Nick Pringle (23) battles for a loose ball against UConn during the first half of the NCAA college basketball game at the Final Four, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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After Sears made a 3-pointer with 2:54 left in the game to cut the deficit to eight, Clingan dunked twice and Tristen Newton hit a 3-pointer Before Alabama knew it, UConn’s lead with up to 15 with 1:07 left in the game.

Came Spencer put the finishing touches on the game with a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left.

It was all she wrote for Alabama.

Dan Hurley hugs Alex Karaban

UConn head coach Dan Hurley embraces forward Alex Karaban (11) during the second half of the NCAA college basketball game against Alabama at the Final Four, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

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UConn will now play Purdue for the national championship. The Boilermakers won their game against N.C. State earlier in the day.

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